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UK has highest child mortality in Europe

UK has fallen from 12th lowest level in the world in 1970 to 33rd in 2010

OnMedica Staff

Monday, 24 May 2010

The UK is lagging behind other high-income countries on reducing child mortality and has the highest child mortality in Western Europe, international figures show.

Globally, the UK fell from 12th lowest child mortality in 1970 to 33rd in 2010. Despite this, the UK has reduced its mortality by three quarters since 1970 and by almost half since 1990. 

In 1970, 12 of the other 21 countries in Western Europe had higher child mortality than the UK. These countries included Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal and Spain. All have since overtaken the UK.

Child mortality in the UK now stands at 5.3/1000, just ahead of the rate in Malta and Andorra, according to the figures published online first in the Lancet.

Currently, Iceland has the lowest child mortality estimate in 2010 at 2.6/1000, followed by Sweden (2.7) and Cyprus (2.8).

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